UPDATE: Two hurt as Merc drives into crowd

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A woman and a schoolgirl were hurt when a car ploughed into a crowd of shoppers in St Annes this afternoon.

The woman, 42, was airlifted to hospital with serious head injuries after being hit by the black Mercedes A class outside the Spar in Whalley Place at around 3.20pm.

The girl, still in her school uniform and thought to be in her early teens, suffered leg injuries after diving out the way.

The car’s driver, a man in his 80s, was described by one witness as being ‘very shocked’ and was also treated by paramedics.

Ahsha Blue, 19, of Church Road, Lytham, said the car hit his foot as he was getting on his motorbike.

He said: “I was a second away from death. He was a millimetre away.”

Ahsha said the pensioner appeared to barrel through bollards by accident, scattering two of them across the pavement, and said he hit the first woman as she stood by a lamppost.

“She was coming out the shop and was straight in his path,” he said. “She could not get out the way in time and got mown down.

“The car carried on and there were four or five schoolgirls, and he swerved.

“They scattered but one jumped back into a pane of glass and scraped her leg.”

The ambulance service said ‘a lot of resources’ were sent to the scene following initial reports a car had hit a ‘crowd’ of schoolchildren.

A helicopter from the North West Air Ambulance Service (NWAA) landed on Waddington Playing Fields opposite Whalley Place and took the woman to hospital.

And police officers taped off the scene as they spoke to the Mercedes’s driver, who managed to stop his vehicle outside the Heng Yun Chinese takeaway, as well as taking statements from several other witnesses.

CCTV footage from the Spar and other shops is expected to play a large part in the resulting investigation.

Nobody was arrested in connection with the incident, which attracted a crowd of by-standers.